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All over the country debates have sparked up over the right for same-sex couples to get married. With the new Supreme Court refusing to hear cases trying to appeal decisions that legalized same-sex marriage, there are now 30 states in which gay marriage is legal. The piece “Gay marriage. Why now? Why at all?” Reese Kelly discusses the issues that led to the current fight for the right for same-sex couples to marry. In the 1970s the gay and lesbian community began by fighting for visibility, ending sexuality based discrimination, and creating self-affirming identities. The issue of marriage was often either ignored or believed to go against the entire goal of the fight as marriage worked to create and reinforce heteronormative culture. In the 1980s and 1990s the gay and lesbian communities began to focus on marriage rights due to the issues surrounding the AIDS crisis, which caused a need for legal partner status, the fact that the gay and lesbian population was growing older and settling down, and because of the new visibility and integration of gay and lesbians into the heteronormative society. After 9/11, the climate grew more conservative towards same-sex marriage as those who went against the typical societal scripts were viewed as unpatriotic, with heterosexuality being a major societal script. When the article was written only the state of Massachusetts had legalized same-sex marriage, though clearly that changed. The question that remains is why hasn’t same-sex marriage been legalized in more states and how long will nationwide legalization take?

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